The first is of Libya under Gaddafi, the second is of Libya under "democracy".
H/t Alessandra Nucci
In Iraq, there are currently 30,000 Christians fleeing. But these are only those who are currently in the main news. Worldwide suffering estimate by humanitarian organisation Open Doors is around 100 million Christians under persecution. The organisation World Watch List 2014 has particularly strict Islamic countries - such as Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - among the ten states with the worst persecution of Christians.An example of the discrimination suffered in German reception centres for refugees is what happened to Leyla S, an Iranian whose Christian faith compelled her to flee to Germany about three years ago with her husband and daughter.
It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony. Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.In an interview with the Vatican Radio, Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, appears to interpret the Holy Father's letter as an invitation to the UN to act even by recourse to force. He said:
In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.
The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes. The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.
Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
From the Vatican, 9 August 2014
What impressed me is the phrase saying that the situation is so tragic that it "compels" the international community to act. In fact, if we look at the Charter of the United Nations, we see, very clearly, that Article 42 says that the international community has the responsibility to protect even by force - which cannot be done by the local state, local authorities, who for various reasons are prevented to act or do not have the opportunity to do so, after you have tried all the ways of the law, dialogue, negotiation - to avoid evils like those seen in Northern Iraq in these days.Monsignor Tomasi recalled the situation years ago in Rwanda, similar to today's Iraq, saying that genocide was not prevented due to not having acted decisively.
But it is clear that "by force" is the ultimate solution, the final step...
[T]his is not a defence of Christians and other religious minorities, merely in an action of direct support to Christians: here we are dealing with human beings whose fundamental rights are trampled upon and for whom the local authorities cannot intervene. Therefore, the duty of the international community is to protect them. The problem is not, in simple words, a Church problem, it is a problem of humanity, of the human family.
Second, we must find ways to limit, to try to block the fact that weapons, financial aid and politicians continue to get into the hands of the representatives of this elusive state of the Caliphate, which so far has just been an excuse to create violence and kill those who are in disagreement with the leaders of this new entity. [Emphasis added]
Monitoring churches is something the Nazis did. When German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) used his pulpit to expose Adolf Hitler’s radical politics, “He knew every word spoken was reported by Nazi spies and secret agents.” [From Basil Miller, Martin Niemoeller: Hero of the Concentration Camp]To have this law declared unconstitutional - and to once and for all remove the ability of the IRS to censor what a pastor says from the pulpit - is the goal of the Pulpit Initiative, created by Alliance Defending Freedom in 2008, focusing on freedom of religion issues in response to more than 50 years of threats and intimidation by militant groups.
The First Amendment does not prohibit churches from speaking out on any issue, including political issues. The amendment is so clear that the people at the Freedom from Religion Foundation almost never cite it:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances...Notice that the prohibition is directed at Congress, our nation’s national law-making body. It can’t establish a religion and it can’t prohibit the free exercise of religion. Period.
To prohibit a church from addressing politics for any reason is a violation of the First Amendment. Notice that the First Amendment gives everybody, churches included, the right to speak about religion, write about religion, congregate about religion, and “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The goal of an organization like the Freedom from Religion Foundation is to intimidate pastors and churches to remain silent. FRF [sic] knows that if conservative pastors began to address issues from a biblical perspective, it would mean the near end of liberal domination in America.
Former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson warned churches not to speak out on political issues. He claimed that churches that violate IRS regulations could lose their tax-exempt status and be forced to pay a ten percent excise tax on all donations. I would like to see the IRS try to defend the position in court based on the First Amendment. Constitutionally, it can’t be done. Of course this doesn’t mean that it won’t be done since the Constitution is a legal wax nose...
This so-called ban is a direct violation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment is clear that “Congress shall make no law. . . .” In 1954, Congress made a law prohibiting churches from speaking out on political issues and endorsing candidates. The logic is simple. Since Congress passed such a law, then Congress violated the Constitution. This makes the law null and void.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation is widely seen as the most litigious of the dozen or so national atheist advocacy groups. It claims to have brought 40 First Amendment lawsuits since 1977 and is currently involved in legal challenges to a Ten Commandments monument, graduation prayers and a Catholic shrine on public land.Why shouldn't it? It seems to work, even to the point of going against the American Constitution to satisfy its agenda and still winning.
One last thing. The purpose of Christian involvement in the political field is not to use the power of the State to impose a Taliban-style religious-political system on the nation but to decrease the power of the State at every level.The separation between Church and state has largely the purpose of protecting the Church from the power of the state. It's ridiculous to think that it means that only Christians, clergy or laymen, of all the different groups that make up a society, should not be entitled to hold political views as Christians or to express them publicly.
The whole world has witnessed in shock what is now called the "restoration of the Caliphate," which had been abolished on 29 October 1923 by Kamal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. That this "restoration" is contested by the the majority of Muslim religious and political institutions has not prevented the "Islamic State" jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts.
This Pontifical Council, all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, as well as men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices unworthy of man:
No cause, and certainly no religion, could justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offence against humanity and against God who is its Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us.
- the massacre of people for the sole reason of their religious affiliation;
- the despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;
- the imposition on Christians and Yezidis of the choice among conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;
- the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;
- the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);
- the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;
- the destruction of Christian and Muslim places of worship and burial places;
- the forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;
- the removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;
- the destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;
- appalling violence aimed at terrorising people to force them to surrender or flee.
We cannot forget, however, that Christians and Muslims have been able to live together - although, it's true, with ups and downs - over the centuries, building a culture of coexistence and a civilisation of which they are proud. Moreover, it is on this basis that, in recent years, dialogue between Christians and Muslims has continued and intensified.
The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic communities who are minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, of people engaged in interreligious dialogue and of all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the appeal to religion to justify them. What credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have, otherwise? What credibility could the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years still have?
Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with rulers to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to re-establish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced. While recalling the need for an ethical guidance in the management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism are morally reprehensible.
That said, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is grateful to all those who have already raised their voices to denounce terrorism, especially that which uses religion to justify it. Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis: "May the God of peace stir up in each one of us a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace!
I think what you say is true. However, I also think there are more causes to the rise of militant Islamism in the UK and elsewhere in Europe than just the failings of cultural Marxism and Western liberal democracy. Violence, war, slavery and Jihad are built into the very DNA of the Quaran and no iman would argue with that. I have come to the conclusion that Islam itself is not a religion at all. In fact the Quran defines it as a "system of thought" which is a far more accurate description.It's impossible to say with any remote appearance of logic - and therefore I've never said - that Islam invasion of the West can occur without Islam. If you think about it for a moment, it wouldn't make any sense even as a linguistic construct.